Veritas to leverage backup strengths

Veritas Software Corp. is expected to release Backup Exec 9.0 next week, a new version of a venerable and profitable product in the software maker’s lineup, industry sources report.

The upgrade is part of a large product refresh at Veritas that includes updates to its core data backup and file-system products and forays into new areas such as Linux cluster management and development around IBM Corp.’s AIX operating system.

At the same time, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company is building on last year’s acquisitions of Precise Software and Jareva Technologies to expand its management play further into the datacenter.

In an exclusive interview with the IDG News Service, Veritas chairman, president and CEO Gary Bloom detailed his vision for 2003, which includes plans for Linux and a goal to beat out Sun, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM in the virtualization race.

Bloom put Linux at the top of the list when it comes to growth areas, particularly given the company’s development of new technology around Linux clusters that run Oracle and SRM (storage resource management).

“Linux fits in well with the idea that I can do more with less money and yet still get high availability and high performance. I think this will be an early year for the start of the migration of more intelligence into the network,” Bloom said.

The Linux focus builds on Veritas’ historical reliance on sales of Sun Microsystems’ Solaris OS. Bloom is not concerned about the prospect of other OS vendors bundling additional management software into their platforms. “We don’t care what database we are plugging in to, what storage device, what operating systems, and in the future, what network device,” Bloom said.

By the same token, Bloom is not concerned about server vendors, such as IBM and HP, that promote heterogeneous management platforms

“Having a heterogeneous console like HP OpenView is very different than writing heterogeneous storage software that is down in the operating system,” Bloom said.

Looking ahead, Veritas will attempt to leverage its acquisitions of Precise and Jareva. “Precise [has] some SRM technology in the Windows space that will be an incremental help to our SRM technology. The primary product line is application performance management technology. It’s heterogeneous in relation to the application, the database, and the environment it sits in,” Bloom said.

As for Jareva, Bloom agreed with suggestions that the addition of software provisioning to its existing management software signals an approach similar to that of Sun’s N1 and HP’s Utility Data Center concepts. “All the different forms of grid computing you’ve heard about today – and everybody has a different name for it – all assume that it’s all Sun gear, all IBM gear, or it’s all HP gear,” he said.